6 High School Students Hospitalized and Suspect at Large After Shooting in Colorado

"My understanding is it was a drive-by shooting," Chief Vanessa Wilson of the Aurora Police Department said after six high school students were wounded in a shooting

Colorado Shooting
Photo: 9 news

A shooting at a park in Aurora, Colorado sent six teenagers to the hospital Monday.

Aurora Police Department reported that five victims, ranging from ages 14 to 17, were transported to a nearby hospital. An 18-year-old later transported their self to the hospital with minor injuries, they added in an update on Twitter. The suspect is still at large, PEOPLE confirms.

The shooting happened at around 12:45 p.m. local time at Nome Park, where APD Chief Vanessa Wilson said shell casings from different caliber guns were discovered and witnesses reported multiple suspicious vehicles, according to CNN.

"My understanding is it was a drive-by shooting, as well as there may have been people on foot," she said. Although Wilson noted that it's too early to confirm whether gangs were involved, APD's gang unit is involved with the investigation, as well as Aurora Public Schools and other Denver metro area police departments, local CBS affiliate KCNC reported.

The park sits just across the street from Aurora Central High School, where all six victims are enrolled. Officials established a secure perimeter around the school after the shooting, and the district notified parents via automated email, arranging for student dismissal for the day.

Wilson noted that school resource officers applied a tourniquet to one victim, who later went into surgery. All the victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Wilson added.

Henry Martinez, who lives near the park and witnessed the shooting, told KCNC that he "heard like 30-50 shots, it was hard to count with them coming so fast like that, but at least 30."

Police did not share a description of the shooter, but they have received several tips from neighbors during the initial investigation and are asking anyone with cell phone or surveillance video of the incident to send the footage in, which can be done anonymously.

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"I think enough is enough," Wilson said of the city's gun violence. "And I think we need to come together as a community. This is a public health crisis."

In a statement to PEOPLE from Aurora Public Schools' Superintendent Rico Munn and the APS Board of Education President Dr. Kyla Armstrong-Romero, says the school "community is heartbroken to learn that six Aurora Central High School students were injured."

"We want to thank the Aurora Police Department (APD) and our security officers for their heroic response and support after the shooting. We had APD School Resource Officers and APS security officers who rushed to provide emergency care for the victims," their statement continues.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our top priority," they add, saying additional mental health professionals would be available at Aurora Central High School.

"We are disgusted by this and other senseless acts of violence against our children who are the future of our community. We ask for your continued support of the Aurora Central community and we ask each of you to be a proactive part of keeping all of our children safe."

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